A Diamond in the Desert (Paperback)

Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World's Richest City

By Jo Tatchell

Grove Press, Black Cat, 9780802170798, 293pp.

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (5/31/2016)

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Tatchell takes us on a tour of the city with an outlook that's part native, part critic, part wide-eyed traveler. The result is a truly original collage of perspectives and images, from a regal expatriate whose husband was one of the first Brits to settle in Abu Dhabi to young Emirati artists celebrating their newfound freedom of expression. A compelling piece of history told with an intimate narrative voice, A Diamond in the Desert is an eye-opening and often haunting perspective on just how much this fascinating city has changedand, for better or for worse, how much it has stayed the same.


Praise For A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World's Richest City

Tatchell excavates the region’s gritty history from the perspective of a foreigner who goes back to study its glimmering present and ambitious future[displays] an impressive breadth of research into the region’s centuries-old tribal lineage, rocky political evolution and steep recent economic trajectory as a destination for opulent tourism and high culturea commendable survey of Abu Dhabi’s origins, intricacies, achievements and vision.”Kirkus

[A] revealing travelogueA teeming, sharply etched portraitTatchell’s keen powers of observation and personal connections enable her to convey the hidden reality of this mirage-like city.”Publishers Weekly

Tatchell weaves a bit of danger in this part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-cultural study. . .an alluring read. If you’re curious about Middle Eastern culture or if you want an inside peek at an oil-rich economy, you’ll want this book.”Terri Schlichenmeyer, Bluffton Today (S.C.)

A Diamond in the Desert is a welcome addition to the short list of books on Abu Dhabi[tells] the fascinating story of how Abu Dhabi reached the current crossroad. Engagingly written and sympathetic to [its] subjects.”Eugene Rogan, The Guardian

This is a place we need to know more about, and Tatchell here provides a small, well-informed and flavorsome guide to an El Dorado of the duneshers is the best thing I’ve read on the Gulf Coast boom to date. Part history, part reporting, part autobiography, it leaves you feeling you have come to grips with the realities of a land steeped in fable. The contradictions of its Islamic culture emerge starklyvivid yet balanced.”George Walden, Bloomberg News

Offers acute insights on the identity crisis gripping the EmiratisTatchell pieces together Abu Dhabi’s rotten underbelly from a kaleidoscope of disquieting impressions.”Rachel Aspden, The Telegraph

Tatchell explores the different faces of this shimmering prism of a city through the man different eyes of its inhabitants. She is unsentimental and writes very well, with a keen journalistic eye for detail and drama. She brings alive the weird collision of the disparate worlds of sheikhs, expats and Indian immigrants with stories of decadence and depravity. This is an unusually engaging book that makes a compelling read.”Clover Stroud, The Sunday Telegraph

Part history, part autobiography and part travel book, A Diamond in the Desert assesses modern Abu Dhabi through the eyes of both locals and foreigners. Tatchell retains an overflowing fondness for the country of her childhood and tries as best she can to recount even some of the less palatable elements of society in a non-judgmental way.”Nathalie Thomas, The Scotsman